Gyarados is one of the most popular Pokemon in the entire franchise. Its appearance alone made a lot of trainers back in Gen 1 wanting to have their own Gyarados. The only challenge is that you had to evolve your Magikarp to get your Gyarados. It was very challenging but entirely worth it. The question now is, what’s the best moveset for Gyarados?
There can be multiple answers because you can play your Pokemon however you want. Plus, there’s nothing stopping you from having six Gyarados in your team. For now, we’ll only focus on the best moveset for Gyarados for only Pokemon GO and Sword and Shield which is also Generation VIII.
Dissecting The Best Moveset for Gyarados
Basic Information On Gyarados
Gyarados evolves from Magikarp when it reaches level 20. In some games, you can always catch Gyarados as-is without needing to involve a Magikarp. It usually happens later on when you have stronger Fishing Rods or areas where you can Surf. Gyarados is a Water and Flying-type so it only has two weaknesses being Rock and Electric where the latter can deal four times the damage.
It is resistant to Water, Fire, Steel, Fighting, and Bug-types as well as being immune to Ground-type. When it Mega Evolves, the Flying-type is replaced with Dark so it pretty much reshuffles its type strengths and weaknesses. Then again, you may not end up using a Mega Evolve Gyarados most of the time. Finally, its ability is Intimidate which lowers the enemy Pokemon’s Attack stat. It also has the hidden ability Moxie which increases its Attack every time it knocks out an enemy Pokemon.
Stats and Nature
In terms of stats, Gyarados has impressive Attack, HP, Defense, and Sp. Defense. Its Speed and Sp. Attack are average although not as impressive. The best Natures for Gyarados are Jolly which increases Speed, Impish which increases Defense, and Adamant which increases Attack. All three of these Nature will decrease the Sp. Attack of Gyarados.
This gives you an idea that you may want to build Gyarados as a tank since it has a high Sp. Defense and Defense. Intimidate also lowers enemy Attack so its Defense can be even better since it can take a lot of physical attacks. Sacrificing the Sp. Attack can be a good idea so this also means that you can focus on Gyarados having moves that rely on Attack rather than Sp. Attack.
Best Moveset for Gyarados In Pokemon Sword and Shield
Now, that we’ve covered all our bases for the basic information of Gyarados, here are just some good moves and builds for Gyarados that you can use. Keep in mind that you can teach it moves from TRs to make it more versatile.
Offensive Gyarados Build
This build focuses on Gyarados being a powerhouse being able to wipe out enemy Pokemon teams when we focus on boosting its Attack and certain stats. The ideal Nature for this is Adamant which works well with its Moxie ability. An ideal item to have on Gyarados is Life Orb which uses the Move’s damage by 130% but at the cost of 10% of Gyarados’ HP. This makes it even perfect since Gyaraados has high HP in the first place.
- Waterfall (Water-type) – This is the suitable Water-type move for Gyarados instead of Surf or Hydro Pump which both rely on Sp. Attack. Waterfall may only damage for 80 but the Attack stat of Gyarados can boost it up as well as Moxie. The other appeal is that 100% accuracy so you’re sure to land a hit every time.
- Earthquake (Ground-type) – A very strong move which is good for Poison, Steel, and Electric-types which Gyarados is weak to. Earthquake can also be good for team battles since Gyarados is immune to it and it can potentially wipe out all the enemy Pokemon with an attack power of 100 and accuracy of 100%.
- Dragon Dance (Dragon-type) – This isn’t a damaging move but the buff it gives is tremendous. It increases Gyarados’ Attack and Speed. This is a good set up move since you can spam Dragon Dance until you max out your stats. Gyarados is tanky enough that it can survive and you can always heal it so that once it is ready, it will start destroying the enemy team.
Those three would be the ideal ones to have but the fourth one can vary and here are just a couple of things.
- Bounce (Flying-type) – The damage on Bounce is alright being stuck at 85 and with an accuracy of 85%. the purpose of this is to pair it up with Gyarados’ Dynamaxed move which is Max Airstream.
- Power Whip (Grass-type) – This move has an attack power of 120 but with only 85% accuracy. The point of having this in your arsenal is in case you’re encountering Water-types. Power Whip can pretty much annihilate any Water-type enemy or those that are weak to Grass-type. Considering that Water-types like Gyarados do little damage against each other.
- Flamethrower (Fire-type) – This is somewhat better than Fire Blast because Flamethrower has good attack and 100% accuracy and having 15 PP compared to Fire Blast which only has 5. You may need a Fire-type move against Grass-types unless you have Bounce which can be effective against Grass-types.
- Crunch (Dark-type) – A good starting move to have since Gyarados can learn this naturally and it has good damage and 100% accuracy and a chance to flinch an enemy causing it to not do anything during the turn.
Tanky Gyarados Build
This build focuses more on Gyarados being more of a tank. Get one that has the Impish Nature which boosts Defense. Give it the Rocky Helmet item which reflects back a portion of damage to the enemy. A few good Berries are Lum Berry for curing status ailments and Wacan Berry for improving its resistance to Electric-type moves. Before you choose any of these moves, make sure you have an offensive move for Gyarados. Go for Earthquake and Waterfall and you can disregard Dragon Dance.
- Endure (Normal-type) – A perfect move for being a tank because this allows Gyarados to survive one hit kills. It sustains 1HP allowing it to live so you can heal it over and over allowing it to tank more damage while using your offensive moves to wipe out enemies.
- Taunt (Dark-type) – When you have Endure up, you can Taunt your enemies which will make them attack Gyarados. This stops any enemy Pokemon from performing debuff and pumping themselves up allowing you to wipe them out.
Best Moveset for Gyarados in Pokemon GO
The mechanics for Pokemon GO are different from the main games. This means that everything mentioned above is pretty much not that important. Gyarados has impressive attack and defense in the game. The stamina also allows it to deal damage while being a bit tanky so you’re in a situation where you just wanna hope that it defeats the enemy Pokemon before it does.
The other hard thing is that farming for TMs can be harder than normal so you just have to wish that you get a good moveset combination. The ideal ones would be Hydro Pump and Waterfall so you pretty much have a pure Water-type damaging Gyarados. If you are also able to farm TMs then you can swap any of those Water moves for Crunch or Outrage.
While these are good suggestions for the best moveset for Gyarados, it is still up to you how you can build yours. Keep in mind that it also depends on what you need it for. It could be for regular gameplay or PVP situations. If you can have access to TRs or ways to teach another move to your Gyarados, then by all means do so.
The other thing is that you have five other Pokemon your team which you can use to synergize with your Gyarados. We didn’t mention any other moves of different types because your other Pokemon can cover that field. Then again, just as we said, you can have another Gyarados with more moves that your main one doesn’t have.